Next Wednesday, 27 of May, the only opera title composed by Ludwig van Beethoven will return to the stage of the Royal Theater, Fidelio, of which eight performances will be offered from its premiere until the 17 of June.

This song to freedom has two important names in the direction to raise the curtain. Teacher Hartmut Haenchen, specialist in the German repertoire and to whom we have heard unforgettable performances at the Real (Lady Macbeth de Mtsensk, Boris Godunov Y Lohengrin), will be placed again at the head of the Titulares Choir and Orchestra of the Royal Theater and a cast headed by Michael King (Florestan), Adrianne Pieczonka (Leonora), Franz-Josef Selig (Rocco) Y Anett Fritsch (Marzelline) in the lead roles.

Pier’Alli, stage director and also responsible for the scenography, the costumes and lighting, is presented for the first time at the Teatro Real with a complex and symbolic stage conception, stripped of ornamental scenic elements and in which audiovisual support is decisive to reinforce different aspects of a plot that encloses itself, various frames.

Fidelio It is inspired by a real event that occurred in France during the Terror period, although Jean-Nicolas Bouilly's libretto moves the action to Spain to preserve anonymity. The work contains much more than a determined defense of justice and freedom, it is an exaltation of love and fidelity, and has the attraction that in her the woman, Leonore/Fidelio, becomes the conducting and executing instrument, a character who fights for his principles with all his intellectual ingenuity, leaving the victim's place, waiting for the hero or the revenge that, traditionally, women were assigned in operas.

The complexity of Leonore is transferred to a score with harsh vocal demands that require a soprano with lyrical and dramatic resources for the leading role, able to draw an expressive singing line, which are undoubtedly precursor characteristics of Wagner's heroines, to which it has given life, On numerous occasions, Adrianne Pieczonka.

Fidelio and its emotional ideological charge, his song of struggle and his exaltation of love and freedom, It is a symbol capable of stirring the consciousness of today's society., above history.

Two parallel activities have been organized around the premiere of the opera. The National Museum of Romanticism will host the conference of Joaquín Turina, Beethoven in romantic Madrid, to be held 28 May at 19.00 hours in the museum auditorium. And in the cycle Chamber Sundays, soloists of the Titular Orchestra of the Royal Theater will perform a program entirely dedicated to the German composer, he 7 June at 12.00 hours in the main hall of the Theater.


"This opera conquest throughout Europe in a very short time, and even Verdi attend, fascinated and hidden in a box, the premiere in Bologna, directed by his friend Mariani. The reasons are in sight: from a musical point of view, sounds are heard hitherto unknown, both the prelude and the desecration of the gods by Ortrud and narration about the Grail Lohengrin, and naturally one of the most complex choruses from Bach with the appearance Swan "ein Wunder, a wonder…". From the dramatic point of view, opera meets all the desires of the bourgeoisie then, Restoration disappointed by Metternich and the "juste milieu" of France; frustrated in his desire for a new world order, convinced of the special place of the artist but also his loneliness (Lohengrin), afflicted by melancholy arising from the frustration of unfulfilled utopia. And all this reflected in oversized forms and also used Meyerbeer, although this will fail to provide them with more than a similar efectismo the current Hollywood productions.
Lohengrin is an incredibly sad work, because at first it promises the realization of a new world and end, as Elsa, We abandon us to our loneliness, because society could not find the courage to follow the requirement of the artist, Utopian messenger Grail castle: "No I never interrogate". Elsa wants to know instead of believing, and therefore it can not be released, while Lohengrin must return to his ideal realm of the Grail castle alone ... as Wagner in exile. "
(The eternal struggle between truth and glare Theater, Gerard Mortier).

Gerard Mortier's enthusiasm has led to the present Teatro Real, for the first time, own production of the most romantic work of Wagner, Lohengrin.
This is a work that develops all own archetypes of romance, the tragic fatality, the medieval legend, the contrast between the divine and the human and a dark and eerie atmosphere.
Like the ancient Greeks reality expressed through legends, Wagner, emulating the Greeks, He tried to express the universal truth also using legends. Where appropriate, medieval legends of German origin with one of the topics that most interest aroused in him, The Holy Grail.
Lohengrin is a work that marks a turning point in the music of his time, because it will trace the operatic style of the future. A novel instrumentation in which Wagner no longer up to the classic mode, but it creates different musical levels as shown significantly prelude, where the strings, They are divided and grouped creating a different sound, only, Wagnerian distinctive instrumental.
Wagner had to flee Dresden, where he planned the show opened, after participating in the Revolution 1848. Before he had left written all kinds of information on the orchestration and staging. For this new production Real, They have taken into account all these sources to be thoroughly faithful to the ideas of Wagner himself.
Some of these indications have been faithfully respected, as the appearance on stage of 12 trumpets, or the composition of an extraordinary chorus, by number of members and volume of sound.

The first thing that draws the attention of this production is the use made of the stage. Lukas Hemleb Y Alexander Polzin They have created a scenery away from the static sense we can imagine in a production of this size. The result is a totality, a romantic universe almost sculpted hands Polzin himself in his role as sculptor. They have achieved a particular balance, mystical and legendary, which can not be identified with any present time, not historical. It is out of time and fills a spontaneous form of sensitivity.
It was certainly the Master Hartmut Haenchen the most deservedly cheered after the performance. He managed Orchestra titular one of his best performances since the reopening of the Teatro. the overture, a tension and overwhelming intensity, only it surpassed by a final full of magnetism, It is transmitting the same work as a whole. The experienced German director, extracted orchestra sound full maturity, product of evolution that this body stable theater has experienced in recent years.

Coro del Teatro holder, Coro Intermezzo, strengthened to address the volume of sound required Lohengrin, He had an extraordinarily important role, especially the male choir. He moved around the stage like a living body unit, in the great cavernous stage. The quality of this choir, conducted by maestro Máspero, It never ceases to amaze. The quality achieved great places him among the best in Europe, something that may have to be thankful, as well, Gerard Mortier.

The set of key voices was balanced and a high level. the tenor Christopher Ventris, as Lohengrin, You can not qualify as a voice specifically wagneriana, but he contributed a heroic tone, plus a light metal which is always welcome in these characters. He lacked emotion in some passages but color has a beautiful voice.
Catherine Naglestad he played a very believable in their naivete Elsa. Sweet excess, It has a brilliant highs and expressive.
Deborah Polaski as Ortrud shone high. A magnificent dramatization made her the most evil far. He managed to be the protagonist in each of the duels he had with the other major voices. His experience on stage voice softened some lack, especially in the high notes.
Franz hAWLATI as King Heinrich has been a pleasant surprise. The German baritone has improved since his last speeches in this theater. This time his performance has been very correct.
Thomas Johannes Mayer, as Telramund, He had a flawless first act and a compelling dramatization. This German baritone possesses a powerful and deep voice filled with intensity their interpretations.

The end result is a round work, seeking total art that Wagner pursued his compositions. Do not get it, but the result is more than worth to pay tribute to his inspirational, Gerard Mortier one floating in the air.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Romantic opera in three acts (1850)
Libretto by the composer, Parzival based romances, de Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Lohengrin, anonymous author
New production of Teatro Real
Obituary Gerard Mortier
D. musical: Hartmut Haenchen
D. scene: Lukas Hemleb
Scenographer: Alexander Polzin
Costume designer: Wojciech Dziedzic
illuminator: Urs Schönebaum
D. choir: Andrés Máspero
D. children's choir: Ana González
Distribution: Christopher Ventris, Catherine Naglestad, Thomas Johannes Mayer, Deborah Polaski, Franz hAWLATI, Anders Larsson, Antonio Lozano, Gerardo López, Isaac Galan, Rodrigo Alvarez

Lady Macbeth

Chaos instead of music "composer" formalist ", He sentenced to 1936 Pravda on the successful Lady Macbeth de Mtsensk, premiered at the Small Academic Theater of Leningrad 22 of January of 1934. After that sentence the official newspaper of the regime, and after learning that Stalin had not liked all his work, Shostakóvich, He received the anathema of "enemy of the people" by Stalinist cultural bureaucracy coming to fear for his life. He thought the same fate awaited him two of his friends, Tuchachevsky and Meyerhold, (geniuses of the theater) who they were deported and executed.

He was eventually acquitted, but his works had already been fulminated of all opera houses and concert halls. Until the death of Stalin in 1953, his works always suffered harsh criticism of the means of the regime.

Lady Macbeth is the work of a young man 26 years decides to put music to a risky and unusual argument. Namely, characters mean and unscrupulous in a dark place of deepest Russia, where everything is boredom and repressed sexuality. The result is a work that vindicates sexual freedom while officialdom treated sex as exclusively oriented fertility. The Soviet state made every effort to put sexual urges to service the growth of the nation. Opera Shostakóvich It is a reaction against this ideology and constitutes an act of sexual liberation. and is also a complaint against the humiliating situation of women in Russia. No wonder then Stalin's displeasure.

Little does this production of Lady Macbeth with Rostropovich ten years ago in this same scenario. A Rostropovich to Soviet officialdom which left no access to the original score 1979. It is from that point, when Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk born for the rest of the world.

Grandiose! So the Lady Macbeth can be summarized that represents these days in Real. I thought nothing could match that ran majestically from the stage Master Rostropovich.

It is being criticized by some of its high voltage erotic scenes, but that is the essence of the work, rawness, almost violent, of reality that wants to show. And a reality that sometimes do not like, an end all happy.
Shostakovich's music, deliberately mocking in the most dramatic moments, It maintains constant tension of the work. There are many moments that evoke other great works on which decisively influenced. Hence his greatness and expertise.

The address of Hartmut Haenchen It was widely applauded, without going into comparisons with Rostropovich. He ran very well the Titular Orchestra of the Teatro extracting from it the best score with a complex and demanding. The interludes were magnificent, some a curtain down, but lacked continuity at times. A success of the production was put metals on walkways on either side of the stage. Increased energy and sound volume. This helped to highlight the drama of the work, which it is already much.

The big winner of the night was definitely Eva-Maria Westbroek. It seems that the role of Katerina had been written for her. He filled the stage with a dramatic interpretation at the height of his voice. He moves well on stage, what capacity of expression, how transmits its role. An extensive voice, round, enameled and forceful. With a high voice and dramatic level maintained throughout the work. ¡Brava!.

Other performers was at an acceptable level. Vladimir Vaneev Boris had its difficulties. Often his voice was swallowed by the majestic orchestra.
Michael King I was a little disappointed. He fulfilled his character but his voice lacks agility and harmonic. Highlight the scene of intercourse that was, interpretatively with music and lighting effects, extraordinary.

One of the protagonists and winners of the night was the choir. Especially noteworthy Lani Poulson, who it agreed to a production demands not easy. The chorus sounded magnificent, sometimes spectacular, especially in the wedding scene and the final scene, in the long march to Siberia. Sound volume and power were exciting at times. Máspero He is doing a good job.

The scenery was very successful and faithful to the spirit of the work. Able to recreate an asphyxiating atmosphere harboring many other atmospheres, of each character, and all equally oppressive. By the way, They are not like animals on stage.

Definitely, quite a sight. Far from traditional operas, works are enjoying a high-level shake, remove the inside and not always comfortable. For this reason I am afraid not come good times for this type of programming or for Mortier. The knives are sharpened and if no one remedy, soon we can enjoy casposas conventional works and productions that merit no more thought than an analysis of the singers. Now, we are getting used to the good…

Dmitri Shostakóvich (1906-1975)
Opera in four acts and nine pictures
Libretto by Alexander Preys and Dmitri Shostakovich
based on the story of Nikolai Leskov
Madrid 9 from December, Teatro Real
musical direction: Hartmut Haenchen
stage direction: Martin Kusej
Eva-Maria Westbroek, Vladimir Vaneev
Head of the Royal Theatre Orchestra
New production at the Theatre Royal
accruing de la Dutch Opera Amsterdam